chombo 18.11.10.jpgGovernment says the land reform programme has been an overwhelming success given the expected increase in Zimbabwe’s tobacco output from 123 million kilogrammes last year to 170 million kilogrammes this season.


In a presentation at the provincial launch of the Midlands Province Indigenisation Campaign programme held in Gweru this weekend, the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Cde Ignatius Chombo said resettled farmers have proven that they can surpass the white commercial farmers in terms of production.


“Many people were very critical of the land reform programme arguing indigenous Zimbabweans were incapable of matching the white commercial farmers in terms of productivity.


“However, the blacks who were working on the farms are the ones that have acquired land and are revolutionising the agriculture sector,” said minister Chombo.


He said despite the illegal sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe, countries such as Iran and China are providing expertise and aid in agriculture and other sectors.


He said, “We have all-weather friends such as the Chinese that are assisting in agriculture. As of now, tobacco has increased with indications that cotton will follow suit,” said Cde Chombo.


According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, large scale commercial farmers, who constituted the largest share of growers prior to 2000, now account for 3% with communal farmers accounting for 38% of registered growers.